North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada 2012


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51 - Information and cultural industries

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in producing and distributing (except by wholesale and retail methods) information and cultural products. Establishments providing the means to transmit or distribute these products or providing access to equipment and expertise for processing data are also included.

The unique characteristics of information and cultural products, and of the processes involved in their production and distribution, distinguish this sector from the goods-producing and services-producing sectors.

The value of these products lies in their information, educational, cultural or entertainment content, not in the format in which they are distributed. Most of these products are protected from unlawful reproduction by copyright laws. Only those possessing the rights to these works are authorized to reproduce, alter, improve and distribute them. Acquiring and using these rights often involves significant costs.

The intangible nature of the content of information and cultural products allows for their distribution in various forms. For example, a movie can be shown at a movie theatre, on a television broadcast, through video on demand, or rented at a local video store; a sound recording can be aired on radio, embedded in multi-media products or sold at a record store; software can be bought at retail outlets or downloaded from an electronic bulletin board; a newspaper can be purchased at a newsstand or received on-line. In addition, improvements in information technology are revolutionizing the distribution of these products. The inclusion in this sector of telecommunications services providers reflects the increasingly important role these establishments play in making these products accessible to the public.

The main components of this sector are the publishing industries, the motion picture and sound recording industries, the broadcasting industries, the telecommunications industries, and the data processing and hosting services industries.

There are establishments engaged in culture-related activities that are classified in other sectors of NAICS. The most important are listed as exclusions below.

  • Exclusion(s)

    • duplicating information or cultural products in print form, or in the form of optical or magnetic media(31-33)
    • wholesaling information and cultural products such as newspapers, books, software, videocassettes, DVDs and sound recordings (See 41 Wholesale trade)
    • retailing information and cultural products such as newspapers, books, software and sound recordings(44-45)
    • design activities (See 54 Professional, scientific and technical services)
    • performing in artistic productions, and creating artistic and cultural works or productions as independent individuals (See 71 Arts, entertainment and recreation)
    • preserving and exhibiting objects, sites, and natural wonders of historical, cultural and/or educational value (See 71 Arts, entertainment and recreation)
    • producing live presentations that involve the performances of actors and actresses, singers, dancers, musical groups and artists, and other performing artists (See 71 Arts, entertainment and recreation)

511 - Publishing industries (except internet)

This subsector comprises establishments primarily engaged in publishing newspapers, periodicals, books, databases, software and other works. These works are characterized by the intellectual creativity required in their development and are usually protected by copyright. Publishers distribute, or arrange for the distribution of copies of these works.

Publishing establishments may create the works in-house, or contract for, purchase, or compile works that were originally created by others. These works may be published in one or more formats including traditional print form, electronic and on-line. Publishers of multimedia products, such as interactive children's books, multimedia CD-ROM and digital video disk (DVD) reference books, and musical greeting cards are also included. Establishments in this subsector may print, reproduce or offer direct on-line access to the works themselves or they may arrange with others to carry out such functions.

  • Exclusion(s)

    • publishing exclusively on Internet (See 519130 Internet publishing and broadcasting and web search portals)

512 - Motion picture and sound recording industries

This subsector comprises establishments primarily engaged in producing and distributing video and audio recordings or providing related services, such as post-production services, exhibition services, and motion picture processing and developing services. Sound recording studios are also included.

  • Exclusion(s)

    • mass duplication of pre-recorded audio and video tapes, cassettes, diskettes, DVDs and CD-ROMs (See 334610 Manufacturing and reproducing magnetic and optical media)
    • wholesaling sound recordings (See 414440 Sound recording merchant wholesalers)
    • wholesaling pre-recorded video cassettes and DVDs (See 414450 Video recording merchant wholesalers)
    • retailing video and audio recordings (See 443146 Audio and video recordings stores)

515 - Broadcasting (except internet)

This subsector comprises establishments primarily engaged in operating radio and television broadcasting studios and facilities.

  • Exclusion(s)

    • operating telecommunications networks (See 517 Telecommunications)
    • broadcasting exclusively on the Internet (See 519 Other information services)

517 - Telecommunications

This subsector comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing telecommunications and/or video entertainment services over their own networks, or over networks operated by others. The establishments of this subsector are grouped into industries on the basis of the nature of services provided (fixed or mobile), the type of network used to deliver those services (wireline or wireless), and the business model they employ (facilities-based or resale).

  • Exclusion(s)

    • installation and maintenance of broadcasting and telecommunications systems by independent contractors (See 23 Construction)

518 - Data processing, hosting, and related services

This subsector comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing the infrastructure for data processing, hosting, and related services.

519 - Other information services

This subsector comprises establishments, not classified to any other industry, primarily engaged in providing other information services. The main components are news syndicates, libraries and archives, Internet publishing and broadcasting, and web search portals.

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